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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

October 23, 2016

 

Gospel: Lk 18:9-14
 
Jesus addressed this parable to those who were convinced of their own righteousness and despised everyone else. “Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector (1). The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity -- greedy, dishonest, adulterous -- or even like this tax collector.
I fast (2) twice a week, and I pay tithes (3) on my whole income.’ But the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, ‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’ I tell you, the latter (4) went home justified, not the former (5); for whoever exalts (6) himself will be humbled (7), and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
 
http://www.usccb.org
 
The difficult words
 
(1)Tax collectors in Roman times were not always honest. Since they worked for the Romans, they were hated and scorned.
(2)To fast is to give up certain foods, to eat less as a sacrifice to God.
(3)Tithes are portions (usually 10%) of someone’s income that are given to God (by giving to the church, or to the poor).
(4)The latter means the second one (the tax collector). The former means the first one (the Pharisee).
(5)To exalt means to lift up and to honor and praise.
(6)To be humbled means to be embarrassed and put to shame.
 
This week’s spotlight
 
The readers at Mass
 
During the Liturgy of the Word at Mass, several people from the assembly may be chosen to read the first reading, responsorial psalm, and second reading. The Gospel is always read by the deacon, if there is one, or by a priest.
 
Beating the breast
 
During certain prayers of the Mass, we "beat our breast,” which is making a fist with the right hand and tapping it over the heart. In the Bible, this gesture is a sign that the person recognizes his sins and is sorry for them. It is a sign of humility and a way of asking God for forgiveness. We use this gesture during the penitential rite (“I confess to almighty God''), the Lamb of God (“have mercy on us"), and before communion when we say, “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you.'” As seen in today’s Gospel, this humble gesture is pleasing to God.
 
Reflection
 
Being just in the eyes of God
 
Jesus tells a story about a Pharisee who does everything he’s supposed to. He thanks God because he’s better than others - in fact, he thinks he can’t do any better than he’s already doing. He spends his prayer time remembering all that he has done to please God, instead of thinking about what God has done for him, or praying for others. He has no humility. He is keeping score with God. The Christian life isn’t a game where we need to keep track of our good points.
 
The truth is that we can do nothing without God. The Pharisee in the parable has forgotten that God is love, not a scorekeeper. He has forgotten that he needs a savior. God wants us to remember our need for forgiveness. Jesus invites us to trust in his mercy, like the tax collector in the parable.
 
Ask God for what you need, and let God surprise you with his love.
 
Discussion questions
 
1. How did the Pharisee pray to God?
2. How did the tax collector pray to God?
3. Who did God forgive – the Pharisee or the tax collector, and why?
4. What lesson did we learn today from Jesus?
5. Humility is a very good human behavior. What can we do to show others that we are humbled?
 
Praying after Communion
 
After receiving Holy Communion, you can say this prayer silently to yourself. If you have not yet received your First Communion, you can still say this prayer because of your desire to receive Jesus.
 
Father, through Jesus, in communion with the whole Church, I thank you for coming into my heart. I know how much I need your love and forgiveness. Help me to be humble, and to trust in your mercy.
 
This week…
 
Be humble
 
Humility is accepting the truth about yourself. You have gifts, for sure, but sometimes you  might be tempted to think that you are better than others. This week, try to put others first and let them show their gifts too!
 
Ask for help from the Lord
 
Invent new ways and attitudes that will allow others to be in first place. You can give encouragement to someone who is trying to do something or let someone speak out who is not very sure of him or herself. In your prayers, ask the Lord to help you become humble.
 
Word shape Puzzle

 

 
 
Source: usccb.org -  Magnifikid - sermons4kids.comrclblectionary.com –usccb.org/bible/readings-audio.cfm
 

 

 

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